In casting about for a bit of good news to start AAA’s 2024 articles, I must admit, the pickin’s were slim. In the end, I opted for a post on Philadelphia’s new mayor, Cherelle Parker, the city’s 100th chief executive and the first female to hold the office, milestones on both counts. Having spent more than thirty years in the City of Brotherly Love, I tend to think of Philly as my home town, and I like to keep tabs on the old gang. And any woman rising to a position of prominence is always good news, even when I might strongly disagree with her political philosophy.
I doubt that would be the case with Cherelle Parker, a dyed-in-the-wool progressive with a long history of service to her city and state. A Pennsylvania House of Representatives member since 2005, in 2015 Parker, a Philly native born and bred, was elected to Philadelphia City Council, serving as majority leader from 2020-22. Parker replaced her political mentor, Marion B. Tasco, when she retired after 28 years in the job, and was fast-tracked for the mayoral position after Jim Kenney’s forced retirement due to term limits.
Parker beat back eight other contenders for the Democratic nomination (including four fellow City Council members) in the May primary to emerge with 32% of the vote in a crowded field. After that, her ultimate victory was a mere formality – Philadelphia hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since the 1950s, and Cherelle Parker easily swamped her GOP rival, David Oh, with 74% of the vote on November 7, 2023. Parker campaigned to make Philadelphia, currently riddled with gun violence and an increase in crime, “the safest, cleanest, greenest big city” in the US, and we certainly wish her well.
I’m well aware that this topic isn’t going to be first on everyone’s list, but bear with me: it also affords an excellent opportunity to get into the nuts and bolts of what I do as an asteroid research astrologer, proofing and proving the effects of these wee bits of space debris on our daily lives and our world.
And with asteroids, the first step is always to find PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) to match the proper nouns, circumstances and themes of the topic in question. In this case, I knew I had an exact match for the new mayor’s surname in asteroid Parker 5392. I also knew that there is no match for Philadelphia, but over the years I have found that asteroid Philae 4663, a sort of sideways “Philly”, the city’s most common nickname, works reasonably well as a celestial marker.
Cherelle was a tougher nut to crack, but one never knows, so I scrolled through the alphabetical listings at the Minor Planet center, to no avail. I tried an exact match, as well as vowel substitutions (like Charelle) and consonant-based similarities (like “Scherelle” or “Shirelle”). Coming up empty, I asked myself, ‘What does it sound like?’ I find that phonetics plays a huge part in how the cosmos susses out the endless terrestrial manifestations it has to portray, with a finite number of celestial options. From Cherelle it was a short walk to Cheryl, and I flipped to the C’s with hope in my heart.
Only to find it dashed: no Cheryl! I did find a CNA, however, a Compound-Named Asteroid, comprised of first and last names strung together as one word, which can be separated and used for either. I wondered if asteroid Cherylhall 8247 might fit the bill, and I jotted it down as a possibility.
Next I needed to find something useful for the office in question. There is no Mayor asteroid, and I thought I might need to content myself with Saturn, as ruling chief executives generally. But, scouting about in that general region, I came across asteroid Mayre 3870. Pronounced as “mare,” with a silent final “e,” I hoped I might have a close enough approximation for astro-jazz.
The timing of a chart is another hurdle to be crossed when dealing with current events, and while I couldn’t find a precise time for the January 2 inauguration, I did note that the event would occur during the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting, set to commence at 10 AM EST.
So, to test the chart! I felt confident that Parker and Philae would perform to expectations, and was not disappointed. At 19 Aquarius, asteroid Parker is exactly squared to asteroid Philae at 19 Taurus, itself exactly conjunct Uranus. This celestially and emphatically binds the new mayor with the city she now leads, with the square aspect indicating the challenges ahead. Parker’s Job One is to quell gun violence, responsible for 408 Philadelphia mortalities in 2023, and aptly portrayed by Uranus, ruling shootings. Uranus also indicates a need to “shake things up,” and the likelihood that some of Parker’s policies could potentially prove controversial.
Not to be outdone, Philae is at station, having turned direct on December 26th. Stations indicate major turning points for the entities with which they resonate, and Philadelphia (Philae) turning a chapter to elect its first female mayor certainly qualifies for a sea change of this type. As well, Uranus will also turn direct at this degree, though not until late in the month, and given its slow rate of movement, cannot be considered as at station for the inauguration itself. Nevertheless this union cements the revolutionary and groundbreaking nature of the change.
Now to see how well the newbies performed – would Mayre and Cherylhall prove efficacious cosmic stand-ins for what I had chosen them to represent? Would they!
Mayre appears at 0 Pisces, conjoined the 29 Aquarius Ascendant, for the swearing-in of the new mayor. Also here is Saturn at 3 Pisces, our planetary fallback for the mayoralty, should Mayre prove inadequate. Instead, Saturn seems to lend its imprimatur to the choice. The Ascendant governs the public image, how others see us, so having these points aligned with it at the inauguration of a new mayor is no more than apt.
And Cherylhall? Our Cherelle substitute is just where it should be – at 4 Sagittarius, it exactly conjoins Venus and aligns with the 13 Sagittarius MC, also squaring Mayre/Saturn, making Cherelle Parker (Cherylhall), Philadelphia’s first female (Venus) mayor (Mayre), the focus of all eyes (MC) for her official installation (Saturn).
Looking at this inaugural chart as one describing the major energies of the first Parker administration, I do see one configuration in particular that may prove problematic. This is a T-Square comprised of an exact opposition from the Moon at 25 Virgo to Neptune at 25 Pisces, with a Mercury/Mars union at 22 and 28 Sagittarius on the fulcrum. This reiterates the problem of guns (Mars), a circumstance which has the population (Moon) feeling discouraged and disillusioned (Neptune), with increasingly hostile (Mars) rhetoric (Mercury) directed at City Hall, which has seemed ineffectual (Neptune) in its responses to date. Parker will need to come up with more than empty (Neptune) platitudes (Mercury) for this problem, crafting a plan (Mercury) to take action (Mars) that meets the citizens’ (Moon) image (Neptune) of a leader (Mars).
Wishing to further confirm the utility of my new asteroid friends, I next turned to Cherelle Parker’s birth chart. Born 10 September 1972 (no time available), would they show as well there as in the event chart?
Amazingly, natal Cherylhall is an exact match for natal Parker at 11 Sagittarius, both squaring the 17 Virgo Sun! Connections to the Sun, Moon or Ascendant are the most common placements for one’s own PNAs, so the solar contact reaffirms that Cherylhall is indeed a valid marker for Cherelle personally. The exact conjunction of first and last names is just icing on the cosmic cake!
Mayre also shows prominently – at 24 Virgo, natal Mayre is at station, indicating a major role for that point in the native’s life and biography. It’s also trine the Sun and inconjunct Saturn at 20 Gemini, ruling career, making the mayoralty (Mayre) self-defining (Sun) for Parker, and an important step in her professional life (Saturn).
In addition, natal Philae at 1 Virgo fills in a T-Square with the transit placements for Venus/Cherylhall and Saturn/Mayre at her inauguration. Becoming Philly’s Mayor under a Philae/Mayre opposition is just too perfect!
Additional cosmic sanction for Cherylhall and Mayre comes from the election chart, for 7 November 2023. At the time, transit asteroid Cherylhall at 16 Scorpio conjoins the spotlighting Sun at 14 Scorpio and Mars at 18 Scorpio, providing evidence of a successful campaign (Mars) for Parker (Cherylhall). Transit asteroid Mayre at 8 Aquarius appropriately conjoins both asteroid Parker at 3 Aquarius and asteroid Davida 511 at 190 Scorpio, representing her opponent Davd Oh, and combining both contenders for the mayor’s office (Mayre). But with Parker exactly squared asteroid Nike 307 at 3 Taurus, named for the Greek goddess of victory, Cherelle Parker’s ultimate triumph was never in doubt. Jupiter also here at 9 Jupiter suggests, not only the political nature of their contest, but the sweeping 50-point margin of victory for Parker.
Note also a close opposition between Mercury at 26 Scorpio, ruling the vote itself, and Philae at 27 Taurus, the city in question, bisected by a union of asteroid Victoria 12 (Nike’s Roman counterpart) with Venus at 26 and 29 Virgo, demonstrating victory (Victoria) for a woman (Venus).
And there you have it – the nitty-gritty of how this work is done: one leap of faith at a time!